Welcome to the Galerie Tour with
Author Steven Greenburg
I’ll be honest, when I began to read the first chapter of this book, I thought I was going to hate it. We open with a female protagonist in the middle of an attack by two men on the streets of Prague. I thought, ‘great, once again we resort to rape as a plot device’. But it turned out I jumped to conclusions. While the attack was disturbing in its own way, it wasn’t rape, and it did fit into the plot. So don’t let that first chapter turn you off from this book.
The book opens in Prague, 1991, and flashes back to the 1980’s and 1940’s through flashbacks and memories. What I found interesting is that the narrator is the unnamed once-husband of the protagonist, Vanesa Neuman. He’s not present throughout most of the story, yet he’s the one telling the tale. Makes one wonder how reliable he is. As the mystery Vanesa follows takes her deeper into danger, and she becomes more obsessed with her search, the husband’s feelings of abandonment and rejection color the tale while still attempting to tell the full story with every detail.
When Vanesa’s father passes away, she inherits a journal he wrote when he was a boy in Prague. In it, he tells tales of people from all different walks of life, from all over the world. All the characters are Jewish, but they are so different from one another that Vanesa has to wonder where he got the ideas from. Did he meet all those people? He’d also drawn a strange symbol on the pages, and it intrigues Vanesa even more.
So she goes to Prague, with the help of an uncle who still has ties to Czechoslovakia, to find answers. All the pieces of the puzzle start coming together through flashbacks to the Nazi occupation of Prague, the stories written by Vanesa’s father, and the narrator’s own observations of Vanesa and her quest. Armed with nothing but her brains and unwavering resolve bordering on obsession, Vanesa follows the clues to one horrifying, inevitable conclusion. But will she survive to tell the tale?
Mr. Greenburg did a really good job of recreating each time period and location. I had a hard time putting this book down, wanting to know what would happen to Vanesa and what the mystery was. I didn’t figure it out until very close to the reveal, which is truly terrifying.
About the Book
Vanesa Neuman is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and her childhood in the cramped intimacy of south Tel Aviv is shadowed by her parents’ unspoken wartime experiences. The past for her was a closed book… until her father passes away and that book falls literally open. Vanesa must now unravel the mystery of the diary she has received—and the strange symbol within—at all costs.
Set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation and the Jewish Museum of Prague—Adolf Eichmann’s “Museum of an Extinct Race”—Galerie is fast-paced historical fiction in the tradition of Tatiana De Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key. From Jerusalem’s Yad V’Shem Holocaust research center, to the backstreets of Prague, and into the former “paradise ghetto” of Theresienstadt, Vanesa’s journey of understanding will reveal a darker family past than she ever imagined—a secret kept alive for over half a century.
About the Author
Steven Greenburg is a professional writer, as well as a full-time cook, cleaner, chauffeur, and work-at-home Dad for three amazing young children, and the lucky husband of a loving and very supportive wife. Born in Texas and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he emigrated to Israel only months before the first Gulf War, following graduation from Indiana University in 1990. In 1996, Steven was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces, where he served for 12 years as a Reserves Combat Medic. Since 2002, Steven has worked as an independent marketing writer, copywriter and consultant. To find out more about Steven Greenburg, find him on Facebook, Goodreads and his website.
About the Prizes
Don’t forget to check out the rafflecopter for this tour here! This tour will 3 $10 gift cards & the more you share, the more you’re entered!